When someone is hurting, they will do nearly anything that it takes to release the pain that is going on inside of them. This is especially true when that person is hurting emotionally. What is odd about this is that an individual will lash out against those who are best equipped to help them. This is typically due to the fact that those individuals are closest to the situation.
This will often occur within the family. In particular, you will see this as children lash out at their own parents when their parents attempt to help them through hard times. Children will often say hateful things to their parents or even barricade themselves away from them (both physically and mentally). The temptation, on the parents part, is to withdrawal as well.
My child just hates me.
What did I ever do to deserve treatment like this?
Who do you think you are to speak to me like that?
Yet, that doesn’t really help the situation. It does not get to the heart of the issue. Regardless of how you feel in these moments (I’m talking to you, parents), you cannot take this personal. It really isn’t about you.
It is odd to think about our children as our enemy. Yet, if you consider what the definition of the word is, it makes sense to look at them in this regard for a moment. According to Google, an enemy is a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something. Now, we do not look at our children in the same way that we would look at an army that we oppose in war or a terrorist act against our country. However, in these moments, they are very much opposed to us as individuals. They can even become hostile to us being in their presence. And, for this reason, the concept of an enemy applies.
But, we do not go to war with our children even though they are opposed to us. Instead, we apply a simple Biblical principle to the relationship.
We are told to love our enemies and, in this moment, love is the only action that will improve the situation. Sure, we could lash out at our children and accuse them of being ungrateful. We could point out to them that we pay all of the bills and provide them with food. What point would that serve besides making us feel justified?
The better way is through love.
A friend of mine, John Puig, used this video (posted by Kris10 Cartoons on Youtube) at youth group the other night to display how we should approach those who are attempting to hurt us in this life. However, today, I want you all (especially those of you with children) to consider how this video applies to your home life.
Your children will throw stones at you. Maybe not physically, but emotionally. You will be bombarded with these stones. The temptation, often, is to lob them right back. However, a better approach would be to take these stones and build a bridge.
Life is Strange. Live it Well.